Sweet Testing: Heaven and Hell Cake

I love the feeling you get when you make a cake and it actually turns out to be as good as you hoped it would be. There's always that worry that a cake won't live up to the hype or to its mouth-watering photos. I am happy to report that this cake did not let me down! It was sooo delicious and a really big hit! We did end up halfing the cake section of the recipe, though. Word on the street was that this cake was so rich, so decadent, that it was almost too much to handle, so we only made one angel food layer and one devils food layer and halfed each. You still have the same number of layers, they just aren't as thick. We made the same amount of peanut butter and frosting, though. Using all the peanut butter wasn't a problem, but we has gobs of frosting leftover, so, if you end up halfing the cake part, you may want to half the frosting as well. I was worried about how all these changes would affect the taste, but, even at half the size, it still had such a great flavor! I was pretty much blown away by how good it turned out!

We also made a minicake for my brother's gf, using gluten-free flour. I'm not sure how it turned out, as far as taste goes, but I thought it looked cute! :-)

Happy baking!

You can find the full recipe after the jump.

Okay, here's the full cake recipe, the whole shebang. If you want to make a smaller cake, you can half the two cake recipes, like I did.

I've adapted this recipe from two sources, All Cakes Considered and Saveur. If I made it again, I'd probably would just use the Saveur version, but this time around I combined them both, and I wanted to be accurate about the recipe that I used.

2 lbs. milk chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (or butter), plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coffee
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1. Make the ganache: Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat, then gradually add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Pour the hot mixture into a large metal bowl, rather than leave it in the hot saucepan. This helps dissipate the heat. You're looking for it to get thick and spreadable.

2. Make the angel food cake: Heat oven to 325°. Line bottom of a 10" round cake pan with ungreased parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners' sugar and flour; set flour mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with a handheld mixer on low speed until frothy. Increase mixer speed to medium, sprinkle in sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle half of the confectioners' sugar–flour mixture over egg whites; using a rubber spatula, fold until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake until top of cake springs back when touched, 45–50 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and let cool.

3. Make the devil's food cake: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pans, spraying and lining bottoms with parchment paper. In separate bowl, hand whisk cocoa and coffee until smooth. Set aside. Using mixer, combine shortening and sugar. Add eggs, beating after each. Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add flour mixture and cocoa/coffee mixture alternately to creamed mixture. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Place pans on rack as close to the middle as possible without touching. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool for 10minutes in pans, then unmold onto cake rack.

4. Make the peanut butter mousse: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners' sugar with a handheld mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Put cream into a large bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture; set mousse aside in the refrigerator.

5. Assemble the cake: Using a serrated-blade knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer of the devil's food cake on a cake stand and spread 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse over the top with a butter knife. Top mousse with a layer of the angel food cake and spread with half of the remaining mousse. Repeat with the remaining devil's food cake, mousse, and angel food cake. Wrap cake in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours. Stir ganache until smooth and spread evenly over the top and sides of the cake with a butter knife. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before slicing.


BEadECLECTIC said...

This looks fantastic! What a decadent dessert. I'll have to give it a try sometime!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Divinely devilish! A mouthwatering cake!



lalaine said...

Oh Lord. Help me hold fast to my fast.

Rick said...

Absolutely epic! It would be great for a Lost party.


dessert girl said...

You are so right, Rick! I never even thought of that! It would be a perfect cake for the Lost finale.

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to try this recipe. I'm glad to hear it's good! It looks amazing :)

Sara said...

O. M. G. This looks AMAZING! I definitely need to try it sometime!

Jennifer said...

Wow! This looks like it turned out perfectly. And peanut butter mousse sounds insanely delicious!!

Carolyn Jung said...

Chocolate and peanut butter? Truly, you can never go wrong with that combo. My fave! ;)

Lisa said...

that looks INTENSE! and pretty devilish xD

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